Pan Africa ILGA (PAI) conducted the Human Rights Mechanisms Training from the 1st to the 5th of November 2021 for LGBTIQ+ advocates* (28 in-person in Nairobi, Kenya, and 10 online).
The training aimed to empower LGBTIQ+ advocates and activists in Africa, by effectively using existing regional and international human rights mechanisms to advance human rights protections for LGBTIQ+ persons on the continent.
Speaking at the training in Kenya, Richard Lusimbo the PAI Programmes Manager mentioned that it focused on the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights and the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review processes. Activists and advocates were provided with the necessary tools, strategies, and information needed to engage in these mechanisms.
Attention was given to advocates and activists from Benin, Kenya, Namibia and Eswatini (these countries’ Periodic Reports will be reviewed at the upcoming 69th Ordinary Session of the African Commission in 2022) as well as Sudan, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Uganda, South Sudan, Tunisia and Morocco (who are due for Universal Periodic Review in 2022).
In the empowerment training, the participants were introduced to topics and sessions such as human rights in general; the state of human rights on the African continent; the human rights violations of the LGBTIQ+ community on the continent; why we should engage with different human rights mechanisms; and the procedures on how to engage at the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights and the Human Rights Council.
As a follow-up from the empowerment session, participants were prompted to start actively supporting the respective communities in their countries to engage at different human rights sessions.
*A call for application for the training was sent out to PAI networks asking activists interested in participating in the training to send their information to be considered for participation in the training. This call for application was only open to activists who were based in countries that were up for review at the 69th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the United Nations Universal Periodic Review. Based on this, the focus was therefore on 13 countries namely: Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Eswatini, South Sudan, Morocco, Benin, Togo, Sudan, Namibia, Tunisia, Uganda, Zimbabwe.